The first black coach in the history of Major League Baseball is “Buck” O’Neil.

On Sunday night, John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil, the first Black coach in Major League Baseball, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

On July 24, 2022, the baseball icon will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2022.

O’Neil spent most of his ten seasons in the Negro American League with the Kansas City Monarchs. According to KSHB, he was named to three All-Star Games during his tenure on the field.

Following his baseball career, O’Neill worked as a scout for the Chicago Cubs. The club then dubbed him the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball. He also helped create the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, to add to his list of accomplishments.

The Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award and a permanent, life-size bronze statue were presented to O’Neil by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 2008. The awardees are presented with a miniature replica of the statue, which is housed at the Negro League Baseball Museum.

In a news statement announcing the namesake award, Jane Forbes Clark, chairperson of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, said, “The Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is happy to recognize Buck O’Neil as the first winner of this award, named after him. Buck had an influence on every aspect of baseball, and he was one of the greatest the game has ever seen.

Buck’s effect on millions of people was recognized by the Board, as he utilized baseball to teach lessons about life, love, and respect. His contributions to the game extend well beyond the field of play. This award will be given to future individuals who exemplify Buck’s spirit on a daily basis.”

Candidates are required to garner 75 percent of the votes cast by the Early Baseball Era Committee to be eligible for the Hall of Fame election—O’Neil received 81.3 percent. Thirteen of the sixteen ballots had his name on them.


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